In 2007, Charlotte Gainsbourg had a minor water skiing accident. A short while later, she discovered that she was hemorrhaging blood into her brain and needed to have surgery to save her life. Before and after her surgery, she had several MRI scans done to investigate the problem and check on the solution. Fortunately, all ended up well. As you might suspect, the near-death experience had a substantial impact on her and heavily influenced her 2009 album, IRM. In particular, the sound and feeling of the MRI machines (IRMs, to the French) were something that she wanted to capture and she does so on the album’s title track.
To bring this home a little bit, I had an MRI taken a few years ago. The place I went had a neat little system where they gave you headphones and could pipe music in for you to listen to while they were running the scans. The whole process took about 20 minutes, so this was a welcome diversion that I hope other imaging centers use. Oh, and if you should ever be faced with the choice of what music to listen to during an MRI, I highly recommend Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon; it’s a nice, relaxing album that’ll put your mind at ease. If you think you’ll be missing out on the MRI experience, you can always hit play on Charlotte Gainsbourg’s “IRM” a little later.